When you are in an energized and enthusiastic emotional state, you feel like doing much more than when you are a low energy, down state. Some emotional states are conducive to taking action, and other states aren’t.
Your emotional states are the sum total of your breathing rate, brain waves, blood pressure, energy level, heartbeat, hormones, immune system, muscle tension, physiology, and tone of voice.
Because every state you experience is stored in your magnificent brain, I advocate naming your best and most resourceful states. When you do this, you will find it easier to access those positive states.
The next time you find yourself in a “zrizus state,” say to yourself, “This is my zrizus state.” Be aware of your thoughts, mental images, and feelings when you are in this zrizus state.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – page 51
One of the most self-empowering ideas for a happy, fulfilling life is that it’s up to your own mind to choose to enjoy what you do. You have a tremendous power to develop this attitude.
If you need to do something that seems uninteresting and boring at first, ask yourself, “How can I find a way to enjoy what I need to do?”
Brainstorm. Enjoy the challenge of thinking of a number of ways to make the task more meaningful and fulfilling.
Ask yourself, “What are some of the ways that I can think about this task (or project, goal, or job) that will enable me to enjoy what I am doing?”
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – pages 47-48
At the beginning of each day, ask yourself:
 What are my goals for today?
 What are the five most important things that I need to do today and what is their order of priority?
 What new Torah knowledge do I plan to gain today?
 What acts of kindness can I do today?
 What one trait would I like to excel in today?
 What positive change am I resolved to make or maintain today?
 If today were my last day, what would I make certain to do?
 How can I gain by looking at today as the first day of the rest of my life?
 What would you like written on my tombstone? What do I plan to do today in that area?
 What is important for me to remember today?
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Self Knowledge,” p.188
I must admit to not being this organized.
The quality of your choices will depend greatly on your mental state at the decision-making moment. Your choices will be different if you are at your wisest and best.
When you are at your wisest, you think more clearly. You weigh your options more skillfully. You give greater thought to the possible outcomes of a specific course of action. You realize when something is not a good idea. Since your quality of thinking is at its highest, your decision will be the best choice that you can make at that moment.
When you are at your best, your talents and skills represent your best efforts. Remember your best moments and utilize this to create your wisest and best ways of thinking and acting.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – pages 43-44
Action will enable you to accomplish and achieve. But something must come before taking action: thinking.
Think first. Yes, think big and think bigger, but always think first.
Taking action without thinking will lead to many avoidable mistakes and errors. Taking action without thinking first will lead to unnecessary quarrels and arguments, hurt feelings, and misunderstandings.
Taking action without thinking will lead to wasting much time and energy.
Taking action without thinking might get you far, but it’s likely to get you far in the wrong direction.
When you spend time thinking about your options and about consequences, you will be able to learn from each experience to think even better and wiser next time.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – pages 40-1
Create the habit of taking action right away. To make anything a habit, you keep doing something many times. The wise person doesn’t wait until a new habit becomes a habit. He acts the way he would act if he already had the habit. And then automatically his actions become a habit.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – page 38
If you presently find it difficult to believe that you can become an action-oriented person, you will benefit greatly from a teacher, mentor, friend, or coach who believes in you and your abilities. Having someone you respect believe in you is inspiring and motivating. You will gain a stronger and deeper belief in yourself.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – page 35
People who are lazy and habitually procrastinate lose out in all areas of their life. They ignore their health. They don’t take care of their financial obligations on time. They don’t study when they should study. They waste a lot of time. They tend to be late to things.
The antidote is to become a person who consistently takes action with joyful zrizus. You gain tremendously in all areas of your life when you make and reach goals, when you do what you say you will do, when you take care of things on time, and when others are counting on you. You gain spiritually and materially.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s book: “Taking Action” – pages 30-1
Every hour on the hour, create an inner mental cheer for being alive. Hear an inner enthusiastic voice shouting, “It’s great to be alive!” Imagine a stadium crowd cheering for your being alive.
When you control your anger or other character trait you’re working on, see and hear the same immense crowd cheering for you!
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Anger: The Inner Teacher,” p.342
Everything that you have ever done in the past, you did in a present moment. Everything that you will ever do in the future, you will only be able to do in a present moment.
All your thoughts are thought in a present moment. All your feelings are felt in a present moment. And everything you actually say or do is said or done in a present moment.
Since you live your whole life in the present, moment by moment, it is wise to consider the wise thing to say and do in the present moment, in the here and now of that moment. It is also wise to prepare the wise thing to say or do in the future.
Someone who tends not to have zrizus (alacrity) might be thinking about how challenging it is to have zrizus. It’s actually not difficult to have zrizus. Rather, it might appear difficult when you are not in a zrizus state, or when you are thinking about having future zrizus that you don’t now have. But all moments of zrizus are just present moments, and when you are in that present moment of zrizus, it isn’t difficult. Someone with a tendency to do things with zrizus will tend to look at zrizus as something he only needs to have one moment at a time.
-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin”s book: “Taking Action” – pages 26-7